Title

Subjective quality of leisure & worker well-being: Validating measures & testing theory

Abstract

For many workers, leisure is a highly valued part of life. Yet, workers' leisure experiences have largely been overlooked in the career development and work-life literatures. This paper addresses the question of when workers' leisure experiences—and compatibility between work and leisure roles—are important for workers' overall subjective well-being (SWB). We draw on Super's life-span, life-space theory of career development to posit that the subjective quality of workers' leisure experiences—and lack of conflict between work and leisure roles—is important for SWB, especially when leisure roles are highly salient relative to other roles. In three studies, we develop and validate scales to measure the subjective quality of leisure (i.e., leisure affect and leisure satisfaction) and test our hypotheses using a heterogeneous sample of working adults. Results provide evidence for the reliability and validity of our new measures and suggest that the subjective quality of workers' leisure experiences influence workers' overall SWB beyond the effects of the subjective quality of job and family experiences—often regardless of levels of relative leisure role salience. However, work-leisure conflict does not appear to substantially influence overall SWB beyond the effects of work-family conflict, even when relative leisure role salience is high. We discuss implications for the career development and work-life literatures.

Publication Title

Journal of Vocational Behavior

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